Animation – dynamic, relatable, affordable and easy to produce.

Easy to produce? Really?

That’s the question often asked by organisations and marketing agencies who have been tasked to source animation for their campaigning.

And the answer is yes, it really is incredibly easy to produce.

Animation needs only one person at a computer with their thoughts and creativity, just doing it.

With the development of fast computing, it has been possible to create cost-effective, simple animation (costing less than £10k) since about 2014 – corporations such as JP Morgan are now racing to produce it. And animation as a marketing tool has seen rapid growth since the beginning of Covid – with limits on location filming and an increase in video calls and screen time, businesses have tuned into animation’s creative simplicity and versatility.

Animation can be used to convey information on any subject, from anxiety or dentistry to commerce or tax evasion. It can bring alive subjects too big, too small, too complex or too abstract. Animation can easily describe how things work – even unphotogenic things like cloud data or cryptocurrency.

Animation can be used in national campaigns as an adjunct to all other platforms and methods; it’s fast to produce and effective, reaching tens of thousands of people almost instantaneously. An increase in smartphone use and the exponential growth of social media also means animation is ‘free to air’. And if your story changes, or you need to reach new audiences in different parts of the world, your animation just needs a new voiceover, or maybe a couple of frames exchanged. Job done.

Animation brings ideas to life – and creating it is fun!

7 straightforward steps to creating an animation

  1. Client briefing – express your objectives, your deadline, key audience and budget, to help identify the type of animation you need.
  2. Script writing – you will work with the animation agency to produce the animation script, ensuring it includes everything you need to say in a comprehensible way.
  3. Creative treatment & storyboarding – a concept and theme will be created, using a storyboard to match your script with imagery in the style of your choice, such as watercolour, 3D or stop motion animation.
  4. Voiceover recording – identify a voice actor to match the animation.
  5. Animation – the animator builds the animation and transitions to match the script.
  6. Audio mixing – a music bed and relevant sound effects are added.
  7. Sign off and delivery – the end! Multiple edits can be created from the original: to take in translations or to suit different social media platforms, etc.

Benefits of animation

  • Animation is accessible, especially via social media, and completely free to air for people who require it (via mobile phones).
  • Animation can reach cohorts who struggle to read and write, eg those with a neurodivergence (20% of the population) and/or SEND (15% of the population).
  • Animation can be translated to reach people for whom English is not the first language.
  • Waiting times for CAMHS and community mental health services is typically months – from script to screen, an animation can be created in two weeks, making it ideal for ‘disaster’ work.
  • Animation voiceovers can be quickly translated and revoiced in any language at a rough cost of only £1000.
  • While the initial animation can cost about £10k, subsequent digital copies are completely free (unlike print). Small amendments to ‘end slates’ to, for example, localise helpline numbers cost very little, so one trauma video can be used 10,000 times nationally at pretty much no extra cost.
  • Animation works brilliantly across all social media channels so it’s instantly and freely accessible and provides a ‘language’ for the person and their caregivers to understand what’s going on.
  • Still images can be taken from the animation and used within other collateral. For example, a dozen still images can be laid out in front of a child, enabling them to choose which image from the animation spoke to them (a good way to introduce tricky subjects, eg sexual abuse).